When choosing green cleaning products, standards we’ve discussed previously are available to help us make sure our purchases are effective, appropriate for the task, and in fact sustainable. Green cleaning product selection is now easier than ever, as the EPA recently announced the publication of Draft Guidelines for Product Environmental Performance Standards and Ecolabels for Voluntary Use in Federal Procurement. While the guidelines are more geared towards government buyers, they can also assist public and private sectors that depend on ecolabeling in order to make purchasing decisions. Additionally, the EPA provides a recommended list of greening organizations as go-to resources:
Green Seal, Cleaning Products
Green Seal is an independent, nonprofit organization that sets environmental standards and awards a Green Seal of Approval to products that cause less harm to the environment than other similar products. Green Seal has consensus-based standards for a variety of cleaning products available on the Green Seal Web site.
ISSA, Green Cleaning
ISSA, the Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association, provides information on green cleaning products and the implementation of green cleaning programs.
Design for the Environment (DfE)
The DfE program allows use of its logo on green cleaning products that are made of safer products. A DfE logo on a product means that the DfE scientific review team has screened each ingredient for potential human health and environmental effects and that the product contains only those ingredients that pose the least concern among cleaning products in their class.
McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC), Cleaning Products
MBDC sets environmental standards and awards a “Cradle to Cradle” certification to products considered healthy for humans and the environment throughout their lifecycles, and products that are sources of high-quality materials for perpetual cycles of assembly, use, disassembly and recycling or composting. The certification criteria and a list of certified cleaning products are available on the MBDC Web site.
When you hire a green cleaning contractor to service your facility, make sure their products meet the standards of a regulatory agency such as the ones listed above. And if you need a full turn-key green cleaning program for your facility who is up-to-date with the EPA’s recommendations, please get in touch with Shades of Green Building Services!